Is there any actor alive today who epitomizes the American ideals more than Clint Eastwood? Can anyone think of a show or movie he was in where they disagreed with his character in the end, rather than cheering his actions as those we would all like to think ourselves capable of in similar circumstances? If so, name one…go ahead, make my day…(Sorry, couldn’t resist)!
At the Republican National Convention, Clint walked onstage and wrote a screenplay worthy of any of his movies.
Whatever the history of his character, he always found himself making decisions to come to the aid of foreigners being persecuted (JOE KIDD, GRAN TORINO), Religion or women being threatened (Two Mules for Sister Sarah), or the average guy or gal being wronged by criminals or the entrenched, corrupt powers that be (the DIRTY HARRY series, PALE RIDER, UNFORGIVEN).
In this story, America is the small rancher, scraping out her existence on the plains, living the free life according to the rules.
This President plays the corruption, the one who covets the land and earning of the smaller rancher. Using his access to the laws, he undertakes to bastardize the laws to obtain what he cannot outright steal or destroy. He puts his slavishly obedient followers in power (Holder, he who has never seen a white person wronged by a person of color, or Sebelious, she who, like Obama, has never met a baby she wouldn’t have rather seen aborted), so he can circumvent laws or regulate them into non-existence.
In rides Clint. In a matter of minutes, he makes his case. As at the RNC, it is hard to argue with his straightforward analysis of the situation. It always swings the tide of opinion to his side.
Generally, he is shot, pummeled, hanged, or otherwise abused for a few scenes for his defiance (like the character assassination and insults the media and no-talent Hollywood hacks are throwing at him now.)
Usually, with the audience cheering him on, he wipes out the problem dirt bags with a few well-placed shots, explosions, or a train. The audience, buoyed by his blows for freedom, leave feeling that right will overcome wrong because, well, just because he made us see that evil can be defeated by the righteous, one man can make a difference, and there are people who will stand up for it than not, which makes us feel secure.
In this script, the hero has pointed out the problem, identified the leader of the corruption, and handed the townspeople a choice. He has done his part (everything but bring the red paint to the convention!) We have been complicit in this scene, and we must act individually, according to our conscience, to free ourselves.
Now, we the American townspeople have to weigh his truths and act upon them. We don’t need anyone defending us in the coming battle on Election Day. We the American townspeople are armed to the teeth with the most deadly weapon there is against a corrupt, power-hungry, failed politician. Our ballots will be our bullets; and when the movie ends, Americans are going to leave the theater cheering.
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Photo credit: Siebbi (Creative Commons)